A quantitative synthesis of approaches, biases, successes, and failures in marine forest restoration, with considerations for future work

Earp, HS, Smale, DA, Pérez-Matus, A, Gouraguine, A, Shaw, PW and Moore, PJ 2022 A quantitative synthesis of approaches, biases, successes, and failures in marine forest restoration, with considerations for future work. Aquatic Conservation Marine and Freshwater Ecosystems., 32 (11). 1717-1731. https://doi.org/10.1002/aqc.3880

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1. Marine forests is a term commonly used for coastal marine habitats formed by dense stands of brown macroalgae, typically consisting of kelp and fucoids. These habitats are highly productive, offer habitat to numerous marine organisms, and support a range of invaluable ecosystem services. Despite their importance, marine forests are declining in many regions around the world as a result of interacting global, regional, and local-scale stressors. Consequently, interest in restoration as a tool to mitigate these declines and reinstate marine forests is growing. 2. Recent reviews have provided insights into marine forest restoration; however, for the most part, a synthesis of restoration success is lacking. A meta-analysis and quantitative review of published marine forest restoration efforts was conducted to examine: (i) how restoration affects the abundance and morphology of marine forest species; and (ii) trends in marine forest restoration success. 3. The meta-analysis of 25 studies revealed that restoration positively influences the abundance and morphology of marine forest species. The quantitative review of 63 studies demonstrated that taxa and restoration technique were important factors influencing restoration success, and revealed a bias towards the monitoring and reporting of abundance and morphological response variables. The review also highlighted a lack of monitoring and/or reporting of environmental variables at restoration sites, and limited comparative research across environmental contexts and restored species. 4. It is shown that successful marine forest restoration is possible at experimental scales, but that better monitoring and reporting of restoration efforts, alongside increased project durations, could improve our understanding of restoration success at the ecosystem level. Considerations for future marine forest restoration efforts are also provided. It is hoped that the review will advance marine forest restoration efforts, allowing the preservation of these valuable ecosystems and their associated services.

Item Type: Publication - Article
Additional Keywords: afforestation, canopy-forming macroalgae, Fucales kelp, Laminariales, meta-analysis, repopulation, seaweed, sustainable management
Subjects: Marine Sciences
Divisions: Marine Biological Association of the UK > Other (MBA)
Depositing User: Ms Kristina Hixon
Date made live: 23 Mar 2023 10:23
Last Modified: 09 Feb 2024 16:57
URI: https://plymsea.ac.uk/id/eprint/9861

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